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Happy Endings - August 4

Hi there. You might be wondering "Why Thursday?" Okay, so maybe it didn't enter your mind, but still, "Why Thursday?" Because sometimes you just have to change. It's the only constant, after all. That, and historically, syndication figures come back on Thursday, so we can include them here. That said, let's play the Numbers Game. Today's subject: happy endings.

"Joe" Didn't Blow That Much

Last week saw the end of "Average Joe: The Joes Strike Back," as Anna Chudoba chose the remade Joe Nathan Griffin over the jock Rocky Fain. The Joe in all of us is screaming "Yes! Finally!" But you have to wonder, if a Joe gets with a model, and no one's around to see it, does it really count? Well, comparing to what we saw in the beginning, and what we saw on that particular night, we won't have to answer that question.

The "Joe" finale, which aired last Wednesday, took third place opposite competing "Brat Camp" and Fox firestarter "So You Think You Can Dance" Consider that the latter got a 4.8/9 in its first 60 minutes (because "The Inside" is arguably on the outs). Then consider "Joe's" 3.2/6. Not a bad front for a summer show, especially one going up against two summer hits, one being a rerun. The good news, it was kicked up a notch, outpointing its companion Tuesday show, "I Want to Be A Hilton" (more on that later). The bad news, it was a bit off the premiere's 4.4/7.

Will we see a fifth season of "Average Joe"? Not likely if the end of the episode is any indication, but still... a W for the Average Joe was long coming.

An Up and Down Case

David Madden, we know Ken Jennings (or at least Gordon does). We've gone through a run through with the guy. And you, sir, are no Ken Jennings.

From Joes, we go to Jeopardy!, as we wrap season 21 the way we began it: with a seemingly impossible championship that is hard to take down. But David Madden is finding it very hard to generate the same impact as his predecessor.

The final five games in the season was up 3% from the prior week to a 6.6, but down a whopping 31% from last year at this time when Jennings was in the midst of his streak (if I recall correctly, about 20 or so games in).

Companion show "Wheel of Fortune", long since the top show in syndication overall and long in reruns since May, fell 1% from the week before to a 7.6, down 11% from last year. Competing quizzer "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" was unchanged at a 3.1, but down 18% year-to-year.

All three series begin anew in September.

Run Like "Hell"

"Hell's Kitchen" closed on a high note Monday. After nine grueling weeks in Gordon Ramsay's world, the finale saw the winner presented a lucrative offer (That's all we're saying until the recap).

The two-hour finale was second overall with a 5.7/9 and 7.77 million viewers, but was first in the 18-49s with 3.7/11, a handy victory over CBS' lineup, which, thanks to the soon-to-depart-for-basic-cable "Rock Star INXS" was down.

Will we see another visit into the kitchen that Fox built? You never can tell with that bunch.

Let's Dance!

It seems like when you're a hit Fox show, your purpose in life is to either build an audience for a show with a gleam of promise or sign a death warrant for a show with about 15 people watching a week. Case in point: "So You Think You Can Dance".

The show, which for the last two weeks has been running a bit longer than its planned hour (to compensate for the underperforming "The Inside"), has done well for itself.  While hardly the hit that "Dancing with the Stars" was, it still managed to hold it own.

Last week, the show scored a 4.8/9 with its first hour. The last 30 minutes built off of that success, with a 5.5/9. Considering that the premiere scored the same as that last 30 minutes, it looks like Fox is getting all the viewers they're going to get for this one. The good news: it's all they need.

Last night, another 90-minute installment scored similarly, BUT did win the time slot in A18-49.

In other numbers...

"The Cut" is one cut shy of outright cancellation, as the show moves to Friday this week. And with good reason. Last week's show placed fourth aside from "Average Joe". Add this to failing out of the gate to attract new viewers and you have a move to the dungeon of broadcast television.

One show does not, a hit or miss make. That said, "The Law Firm" still has time to improve upon its premiere, a distant second with 3.7/7 with 5.08 million viewers and a 1.9/6 among adults 18-49. But judging from what I've seen (and the fact that it's on up against "CSI"), don't count on it.

Another premiere stalled at the gate: "Meet Mister Mom," a second-place 3.8/7 in the overnights, a third-place 4.55 million viewers, and a 1.6/5 among adults 18-49, a tie for third.

That's all the numbers we can come up for this week. As always, if you have a question about ratings, you can hit up the e-mail address. We're always here. Until next Thursday (remember that, THURSDAY), remember, the numbers never lie...

Chico Alexander is all of a sudden a big fan of Thursdays. E-mail him at chico@gameshownewsnet.com.


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